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This American Life: advice needed on podcasts

Ira Glass of This American Life says he’s going to give his nephew’s high school class a seminar on podcasting. But he could use some advice, Glass writes:

Specifically: what topics seemed to work the best to energize the kids and to get nice stories? Should we go for personal stories? Stuff going on with their friends or families? Or turn them into reporters, interviewing interesting people around the neighborhood, doing oral history, stuff like that? What’s seemed to work best?

You can post your feedback over at the This American Life Facebook page or radio (at) thislife (dot) org.

The public stations that Glass broadcasts over are breathing a little easier today. The new Federal budget preserves funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting at $445 million for 2013.

But many programs that help public TV and public/community radio stations have been cut, among them most of the cash for a digital technologies fund and all of the Department of Commerce’s Public Telecommunications Facilities Program.

The latter fund has for years helped stations upgrade transmission towers, fund shelters for transmitters, and buy new control room equipment, console furniture, auxiliary power gear, and air conditioners to protect servers from hot weather.

Now it is gone, its entire budget zeroed out by Congress.

“The elimination of the Public Telecommunications Facilities Program (PTFP) presents real challenges to public broadcasting stations’ commitment to maintain reliable service to all Americans,” said the Association of Public Television Stations in a statement sent to Broadcasting and Cable.

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One Response to This American Life: advice needed on podcasts

  1. John Anderson April 18, 2011 at 5:38 pm #

    The killing of the PTFP will have significant knock-on effects for all noncommercial radio stations. Not only was it a fund that stations could dip into when they had infrastructure crises (transmitters hit by lightning, etc.) but it was also the main fund through which HD Radio “upgrades” were underwritten.

    On the latter point, this might not be a bad thing. But the latter point’s just small potatoes to the larger importance of PTFP. Thanks for confirming that it’s been zeroed out, and bring that to light.

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